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Man visits 100 LDS temples before he dies

Man visits 100 LDS temples before he dies

(Courtesy Joan Newby)


7 photos

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KUNA, Idaho — Calvin Newby was determined to visit 100 temples constructed by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in his lifetime.

The lofty goal was born when former president of the LDS Church Pres. Gordon B. Hinckley announced a plan of building the 100th temple by the end of the 20th century, according to his wife of 36 years, Joan Newby.

At that point in his life, Calvin Newby had been to 19 temples.

After enduring cancer for more than five years, he made it to his 100th temple, in Germany, just two weeks before he died on May 19.

A retired veteran and a father of four, Calvin Newby was diagnosed with liposarcoma in 2010, after doctors discovered a football-shaped, 25-centimeter mass in his stomach.

Since then, he lived his life akin to Tim McGraw’s song, “Live Like You Were Dying,” including going skydiving, rocky mountain climbing and riding a (mechanical) bull they named Fu Man Chu.

At the time of his diagnosis, Calvin Newby had been to 43 temples. In just five years, he visited the remaining 57, many of which were in foreign countries.

In January, a YouCaring page was set up to raise funds for the Newby’s temple trips. Between that and another fundraiser the Newbys' neighbors conducted, more than $10,000 was raised for the trips, which including visiting Mexico, Canada and Europe, among others.

Joan Newby said these temple trips provided them an added measure of comfort and strength during the difficult time of his illness.

4 Types of Liposarcoma
  • Well-differentiated liposarcoma is the most common subtype and typically begins as a low grade tumor. These tumor cells look much like normal fat cells under a microscope and grow and change slowly.
  • Myxoid liposarcoma is an intermediate to high grade tumor. Its cells look less normal under the microscope and may have a high grade component.
  • Pleomorphic liposarcoma is the rarest subtype and is a high grade tumor with cells that look very different from normal cells.
  • Dedifferentiated liposarcoma occurs when a low grade tumor changes, and the newer cells in the tumor are high grade.

“We really were strengthened that we knew people were praying for us,” Joan Newby said. “We knew that he seriously was being enabled by the atonement of Christ, because we just really felt like the Lord was preserving him to do this because he had such a righteous desire. His total focus was about going on these, and all the other stuff that we got to do while we did this was secondary.”

Even while visiting the foreign countries, Calvin Newby decided he wouldn’t visit the local sites until he went to the temple.

After visiting his 100th temple in Frankfurt, Germany, with his wife and daughter, Kindra, he shed tears of joy.

As they arrived home from their trip at 10 p.m., neighbors, friends and members of their church congregation lined the streets and sang “I Love To See The Temple.”

Joan Newby said it was amazing and overwhelming, and they "felt the love and support of everyone."

“It was just an incredible journey and I don’t know how one man can touch so many people's lives, but he did it,” she said.

To learn more about Calvin Newby’s journey, visit the Calvin- 100 Temples Facebook page or watch this video.

See the attached list of the 100 temples he visited.

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Megan Marsden Christensen

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